8 health systems with strong finances

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Here are eight health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions, according to reports from Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Health system names were compiled from credit rating reports and are listed in alphabetical order. 

1. Advocate Aurora Health has an "Aa3" rating and positive outlook with Moody's. The health system, which has dual headquarters in Milwaukee and Downers Grove, Ill., has a leading market share across two regions and strong financial discipline, Moody's said. The credit rating agency said it expects Advocate Aurora Health's operating cash flow margins to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

2. Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's and an "AA" rating and positive outlook with Fitch. Cost controls and patient volume will help the system sustain strong margins and liquidity, Moody's said. 

3. Rapid City, S.D.-based Monument Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has solid operating margins that Fitch expects to remain stable over the near term. Monument Health's operating margins will continue to support liquidity growth and capital spending levels, the credit rating agency said. 

4. Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's, and an "AA+" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The system's consolidated operating model will allow it to maintain a strong financial position while effectively executing strategies, Moody's said. The credit rating agency expects Northwestern Medicine to expand its prominent market position in the broader Chicago region because of its strong brand and affiliation with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. 

5. Renton, Wash.-based Providence has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The credit rating agency said Providence has a long-term strategic advantage over most of its peers because it has invested heavily in developing technology in recent years, and the system's plan to transform healthcare delivery through the use of data and technology has been undeterred through the COVID-19 pandemic. Fitch said it expects Providence's cash flow margins to be close to 7 percent in the coming years. 

6. Broomfield, Colo.-based SCL Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The health system has consistently improved its liquidity levels and has a long track record of exceptional operations, Fitch said. SCL Health is well positioned for change in the healthcare sector because it has built up cash reserves over time, according to the credit rating agency. 

7. Arlington-based Texas Health Resources has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The health system has a strong cash position, which will be boosted by favorable investment gains and bond proceeds, Moody's said. Based on performance in the second quarter of this year, Moody's expects Texas Health Resources' patient volume and operating cash flow margins to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels. 

8. Iowa City-based University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The credit rating agency said it expects the system to maintain strong operating performance and cash flow. The system benefits as the only academic medical center in Iowa, according to Moody's. 

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